Senior Helps Seniors

Sam Friedman and the impact of South Florida Tech for Seniors on the community.


Ankith Sureddi

Friedman helps a senior through his non-profit organization: South Florida Tech for Seniors.

Ankith Sureddi, Staff Writer

Sam Friedman, a computer science senior, is known not only for telling Suncoast Chargers the latest on school lunches, but also as being the founder of South Florida Tech for Seniors (SFTFS). Friedman created SFTFS in the summer of 2019 as a part of his sophomore year personal project.

“I was inspired to establish the organization after working closely with my own grandparents. My grandparents—and the rest of my family—were extremely supportive and excited about South Florida Tech For Seniors,” Friedman said.

He created the organization because he wanted to help local senior citizens with their technological needs while also teaching them the skills needed to be technologically self-sufficient, essentially helping bridge the gap between technology and senior citizens. SFTFS helps seniors with anything from laptops to helping seniors navigate facetime in order for them to call their grandchildren. The organization is a non-profit and was awarded $15,000 by Philanthropy Tank, an organization that helps students to gain the necessary tools to pursue projects that impact the community. Friedman also secured funding through personal donations and grant programs. Friedman’s organization has even been featured on the media such as “The Kelly Clarkson Show” and “WPBF News.”

When the pandemic hit, Friedman really realized the importance of bridging the gap between seniors and technology, as everything was becoming more technologically oriented. During the pandemic, not only was Friedman helping seniors with their technological needs, but also with the process of booking appointments to get the COVID-19 vaccine. One of the ways he did this was by creating step by step tutorials on how to sign up for the vaccine, causing SFTFS to get more and more calls from seniors who need help.

“I am very happy with the growth and success of South Florida Tech For Seniors. We have engaged in over 1,000 one-on-one support sessions with seniors, drastically grown our list of student volunteers, expanded our offerings to include both in-person and remote support, established relationships with several local organizations, and garnered attention in news ranging from local to international,” Friedman exclaimed.

Friedman’s services provided to the seniors are all free. The SFTFS club meets in AP Computer Science teacher George Lebron’s room and students have the opportunity to become a volunteer or an officer for the organization.

“We work with student volunteers from schools across Palm Beach County. We also have official school clubs at both Suncoast and Dreyfoos this year, and our club at American Heritage starts up next year. We rely on word of mouth, social media, and features in news and more to recruit kids to our program,” Friedman described.

Friedman also uses marketing strategies including email lists and news features including TV, newspaper and magazine to spread the word to seniors. Friedman plans on attending Cornell University College of Engineering in the fall, majoring in computer science. Friedman plans on continuing to be a part of SFTFS while he is at Cornell.

“We have a fantastic team of new officers in our organization, and I have two younger siblings who will take over the ground-level operations of the organization while I am away for college. I will still manage some aspects remotely; the goal is to keep South Florida Tech For Seniors going into the future and hopefully expand its reach to larger communities,” Friedman stated.

Friedman’s advice for anyone wanting to start a nonprofit is to make sure to prioritize what is important to you and what can help you accomplish your goals and needs. He believes that anyone can change the world as long as they have the passion and idea to impact the community. Friedman is excited to see what the future holds for SFTFS and can’t wait to continue helping the community even while he is at Cornell.